HUGE AMOUNTS of excavated soil, along with building debris, are haphazardly disposed of each year.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Aiming to see 98 percent of the country’s excess soil salvaged for reuse by 2040, the Finance Ministry’s Planning Administration will be presenting a new program on the matter for a public hearing on Tuesday.
Each year, as a result of the massive infrastructure and construction projects taking place around the country, about 2.5 million cubic meters of excess soil and building debris are simply buried or removed illegally to open spaces, the Planning Administration said. Administration officials said they were preparing National Master Plan 14-D in order to allocate sites for the regulation, treatment and storage of such material.
“The rationale for implementing the plan is the momentum of development and construction in the State of Israel,” said Ronit Mazar, a senior director for national planning in the Planning Administration.
“In recent years, dozens of comprehensive infrastructure projects have been carried out simultaneously, and therefore a significant growth has occurred in the amount of squandered filling materials and soil,” she said. “Consequently, there is a need to locate space for permanent and temporary regulation and treatment, in which the process of reclaiming materials will take place, as well as their issuance to the building and paving sector.”
All in all, excess soil generated from Israeli infrastructure projects each year amounts to 8-10m. cu.m., of which only about 75 percent is reused properly, an administration statement explained. The rest tends to be disposed of in wadis, on slopes, in agricultural areas and in open spaces along with building debris.
Examining infrastructure projects proposed for upcoming years, the Planning Administration estimated that most excess soil would accumulate in the Center, accounting for about 20% of such waste. The next highest level would accumulate in the Hadera and Western Galilee regions, each accounting for about 16%, while the lowest will be the Jerusalem region, at about only 7%.
According to the proposal, permanent treatment sites would be established on land already considered “violated,” with priority granted to areas with operations such as waste disposal sites or quarries. In certain areas designated for future construction, temporary treatment sites could be established.
These areas include locations zoned for commercial activity, interchanges or liquefied petroleum gas warehouses, the statement explained.
Planning Administration officials said they had thus far identified 25 sites they could recommend.
Chairing the design team is Lerman Architects, Ltd., in cooperation with a number of government agencies and associations.